Hello, hello! Let’s interrupt this August Break business with a brand new Inspired by!
Each month Riikka and I challenge each other to create something with a particular theme or thing in mind. This theme or thing can be virtually anything and this month we decided to watch another film: Perfume: The Story of a Murderer, after the book by Patrick Süskind.
I first heard about the book long ago, but I have never read it. I finally saw the film last summer. I told Riikka about it and when she saw it air on Finnish television, she suggested it for Inspired by.
I started brainstorming before I re-watched the film. The brainstorm was about what scent I would want to capture and preserve in a perfume. I just listed every scent I have distinct memories of, from Zwitsal soap to the flower scent Harold and I smelled at Cabo da Roca in Portugal.
Some of the scents had to do with my grandparents and the idea emerged that I could ‘concoct’ an imaginary perfume of the scents that I remember from my grandparents house (which also happens to be my birthplace, so the first place I ever got to smell anything).
I also pondered about making actual perfume: I remember putting rose petals in water as a child. I think I must have done that more than once, but I remember one specific moment that was captured on photo (or so I thought).
Of course I had to research making your own perfume. I think I wasted hours and hours on the internet trying to find a way that would just call for household items and materials that I already had on hand. Unfortunately I couldn’t find a method that was inexpensive, easy to do and that also made sense.
And then I re-watched the film…
It’s still a cool film when you watch it a second time! It’s not by far as visually inspiring as say Les Miserables was, but there are definitely plenty of layers in the story alone that can be used as some kind of jumping off point.
One visual aspect that has stuck with me is that the scenes seemed to be perfume ‘coloured’: a yellow or sometimes more amber hue for most parts and the scenes in Grasse seemed to be tinted lavender.
Of course I also saw clothes and flooring patterns, those always seem to inspire me, but I chose to let that rest this time.
Re-watching the film made me remember a couple of scents I forgot during my brainstorm and it awoke even more scent stories that I can cover in future projects.
OK, so here’s what I created with all this scented inspiration in mind:
I chose the background paper because my Oma liked floral patterns and because there was always some kind of flower arrangement in the living room. It also echoes the garden Baldini sees when he smells the perfume Grenouille has made for him.
For this second one I went to look for the photo of me brewing perfumes… Except when I found it I wasn’t exactly brewing anything in it. I’m scooping up something instead… that I know we made ourselves from home-grown herbs and berries, but it doesn’t show in the photo.
I decided to scrap it anyway, because the photo is actually taken on the last day before we moved to another part of the country, so it’s a moment worth recording.
Conclusion: I’m really, really happy with the result of this challenge!
I have lost enough in my lifetime to know that although you think people, places and things will be around forever, it is worth thinking about what you would want to preserve just in case one day they (or it) might be gone. Watching this film has reminded me of that once more.
Scents and smells are a great way to dig deeper into your memories. I’ve recorded only two of the stories that came up for me, but these are rich stories in the way that when I read the words and see the photos now, even more of the story comes up. More to tell on another layout perhaps! And as I said: I have also kept my brainstorm list for future reference.
And now I’m dying to hear what scent(s) you would want to preserve in a perfume… Just leave me a comment below!